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Why You Should Avoid GMOs at Mexican Restaurants + Recipe

Figuring out how to eat Mexican food and avoiding GMOs is one of the toughest dilemmas I have encountered since I started living an organic lifestyle. I love Mexican food and it is one of my favorite types of food (next to pizza, french fries and cake). The problem? If you go to any popular mexican restaurant you are destined to consume genetically engineered ingredients. Everything is either made or fried with vegetable oil (corn, soybean, or canola) or corn – and over 90% of corn, soy and canola are likely to come from genetically engineered crops. And let’s face it, going out to a Mexican restaurant and avoiding the chips, the tortillas, the enchiladas, etc. is NOT FUN.

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Being diligent about avoiding GMOs is not something I take lightly (or want other people to) considering the research and studies that keep coming out about the potential dire effects from eating them. In very recent news, Reuters reported an MIT study showing that chemicals being sprayed on genetically engineered crops are making their way into our food. The most popular herbicide sprayed on genetically engineered crops is Monsanto’s Roundup and the chief ingredient in it called “glyphosate” is linked to Parkinson’s disease, infertility and many forms of cancers. The study goes on to state “negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.” Remember that GMOs were just introduced into our food supply in the late 1990’s and no long term human or animal testing was conducted before the FDA approved them.

This recent research is startling considering the fact the United States remains one of the only industrialized countries that doesn’t label GMOs, which is one of the most unAmerican policies I can think of. We deserve the right to know what’s in our food, especially if it potentially can inflame the body and slowly manifest diseases like cancer over time.

The President’s Cancer Panel has urged us not to consume food sprayed with pesticides and doesn’t believe any amount is safe. They have determined that 41% of Americans are destined to have cancer because of the influx of these environmental toxins. This doesn’t have to happen and it can stop if we make the right decisions at the grocery store, eat as much organic food as possible and stop consuming genetically engineered food.

I know this is a recipe post that has gone off on a tangent about the dangers of consuming GMOs – but this reinforcement of the facts, I believe, is critical in keeping me and the ones I love (you) on the right decision making path, especially when life gets in the way and we want to celebrate holidays like Cinco De Mayo!

So on to my latest recipe: Mexican Pizza! (It’s technically a “tostada” – but I like calling it pizza). This recipe is easy and satisfies my mexican cravings like no other… I know you will love it, it’s hard not to, especially if you like Mexican food as much as I do.

Food Babe's Mexican Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 6 sprouted corn tortillas or homemade tortillas
  • 1 and ½ cup salsa or tomato sauce
  • 2 cups black beans cooked or organic meat of your choice
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • ½ onion chopped
  • ½ jalapeño pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 cup raw goat mild cheddar cheese or organic cheese of your choice
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 cups romaine
  • 1 lime
  • 1 or 2 avocados
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. As oven is preheating, place corn tortillas on rack in oven for 3-4 mins (until tortilla becomes hard but not crisp)
  3. Remove corn tortillas and first top with ¼ cup salsa, a sprinkle of chili powder, ⅓ black beans, green peppers, onions, cheese and ending with 3 slices of jalapeño.
  4. Place tortillas back in oven and bake for 8-10 mins
  5. Remove from oven and serve with a slice of lime, chopped romaine, avocado or sour cream
Notes
*Choose all organic ingredients if possible - the corn is mandatory to avoid GMOs*

 

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If you are looking for general tips on how to avoid GMOs when eating out check this post out. 

Here are a few other recipes for Mexican-inspired dishes:

Please share these recipes with everyone in your life that loves Mexican food. Avoiding GMOs could be a life saver for them!

XOXO,

Food Babe

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116 responses to “Why You Should Avoid GMOs at Mexican Restaurants + Recipe

  1. Thank you ever so much. I also love Hispanic foods. I grew up in California and we ate that kind of food at least once a week. I cook it at home all the time, but my husband (who is a cancer survivor) loves to go out and eat in these restaurants because of the chips. So we limit that. I know I can make homemade organic corn tortillas at home but don’t often have the time. So, it’s something that I should think about. Your recipe sounds like something we would all love! As always, you are THE FOOD BABE! 🙂

  2. I also love Mexican food. Avoiding GMOs is such a frustrating experience all around. I started making my own taco seasoning when I realized that the packets have so much bad stuff in them. My favorite part of Mexican dishes is adding a lot of our herb garden cilantro 🙂

  3. Thank you for the great Mexican recipes!! And for the additional GMO warnings.

  4. I had no idea! Thank you for sharing this info. Much appreciated!!!
    And I will DEFINITELY have to try the scrumptious looking recipe! 🙂
    Love, The Search For YUM

  5. I am looking for a good brand of GMO free hard taco shells. Any suggestions? Thanks 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  6. Although I LOVE your recipes, I love even more your “tangents.” They are always full of information that I live my life by…thank you 🙂

  7. OK. So NEVER eat out, unless it’s a vegan organic spot, and only buy organic stuff you can prepare yourself. Does that sum it up?

    1. Correct. No more eating out. Also, I don’t trust any food unless it is labeled organic and GMO free. (check labels carefully, even at places like TJ’s.) Same goes for MSG. This limits so much food, but also forces me to go to the farmer’s market and eat fresh.

      1. PS: almost all animal/dairy is GMO due to all the toxins they feed and force on animals. Check out organic, GMO-free vegan!

      2. There are VERY few restaurants in this country that are GMO free. I worked for a vegan restaurant that made claims to be “mostly organic” and “local” (not naming) and there was GMO foods in almost all of the dishes.

      3. I know. (sob, sob) that is why I almost NEVER go out any more.
        The most difficult problem is the oils. Corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, and sugar made from beets. Restaurants are still not convinced to switch.

  8. I just made empanadas for the first time a couple weeks ago. From making the picadillo (100% Organic & Grass Fed) that goes in them, to the dough itself. The meat was perfect, but still need some more practice on the bread making.

    1. No… there are organic versions and by definition organic corn should not be GMO. You can look into buying things that mainstream food companies are not so keen on. For example blue corn is often times organic.

  9. I just had fajitas today and I was VERY careful as to what was in them. I love Mexican food but gosh it is the toughest one to eat non-GMO, non-chemical, etc. I had organic blue chips (instead of the tortilla), organic chicken, organic onions, and some non-organic lemons, limes, avocado, tomatoes, etc.

    I also noticed that the taco seasoning was “okay” as it was from Trader Joe’s (I will NEVER believe their nonGMO claim until they enroll at least one product in the http://www.nongmoproject.org label) but there was another one in the house from McCormick and it was FILLED with junk… another Taco Bell one by Kraft had MSG. I was at my parents house… I would never buy this stuff!

  10. Someone commented about caldo de pollo. Caldo is soup. Fairly easy to make yourself with organic ingredients. Especially if you start with making your own broth.

    1. I think they were referring to the powdered chicken boullion that is often used in Mexican cooking.

  11. My favorite Mexican restaurant is Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill. They claim that they only use natural and organic ingredients. I don’t know if it’s completely true, but I really enjoy their food. But I do agree that the best way to eat healthy is to cook at home. You know exactly what is in your food!

  12. First I think we need to realize that we aren’t going to be able to completely avoid GMOs when we are out and don’t have control over the food and we need to be ok with that until things change, we have to use some common sense.

    That being said, there are a great many Mexican restaurants (at least in Southern California) that try to avoid GMOs as much as they can. Again, we have to apply common sense and realize that until there are labeling laws (and such laws apply to restaurants), we will not be able to completely avoid GMOs. This is another example of why we need labeling laws.

  13. Love your posts Vani. I am amazed that the President’s cancer panel tells us to avoid toxins in our environment and yet the President signs the Monsanto Protection bill. Why isn’t anyone talking about this anymore. Have we all given up?

    1. Good post. Well, we are. Join organizations such as:Millions against Monsanto, Organic Consumers, etc.It is difficult to break the silence when the media blocks us out.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I will visit the sites you suggested and look into the the March. I’m hopeful that we will all make a difference and raise awareness.

    2. I was thinking the same thing. Actually, it’s not given up on. There is going to be a nationwide walk on May 25. There are going to be walks all over the country of people who want to make sure the government know that people want to know what is in their food. There is a FB page dedicated to the march. It’s called March Against Monsanto. By the way. The recipe looks fantastic.

  14. over the years I have experimented with a Taco Seasoning recipe, as the options in the stores are loaded with stuff you don’t need and don’t flavor the seasonings. Here is what I have come up with – can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled – I make a lot and then store in airtight spice containers, so I always have on hand…

    Jen’s Taco Seasoning

    1 tsp flour
    2 teaspoons hot chili powder
    1 teaspoons smoked paprika (sweet)
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika (hot)
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 tsp coriander
    1/2 teaspoon oregano
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
    1 pinch chipotle chile powder, or to taste

    mix all – this amount is good to season up to 1.5 lbs. ground meat; add after browning meat, mix well. Add 1/4 cup water or stock mix until thickened.

  15. GMOs should always be labeled and I thank you for pointing this out. However the Monsanto Roundup study you cited has been soundly discredited. For instance check out these two links including one in the Huffington Post.

  16. Unfortunately, sourcing a completely non-GMO homemade tortilla is going to prove difficult. All of the premade corn masa mixes (Maseca, Masa Harina etc.) are made with GMO corn, and thanks to NAFTA, most corn is GMO in Latin America. The prospect of my people’s native food source for 6,000 years now going GMO, is insulting.

    I’m still in the hunt for a non-GMO corn masa. Until then, I’m going to use organic wheat flour and organic lard and make flour tortillas.

  17. What about strawberries? I’ve noticed they are getting larger and larger. My 15 year old daughter recently looked at an enormous strawberry and said “Ugh! GMO’s!”

  18. Thanks for sharing and i want to share how my feel. It is kind insulting my culture a little about you mention the specific MEXICO. Of course, i do support GMO but you not have to mention MEXICO. You should say RESTAURANT than specific name of country names. I don’t take a personal but just think about others if you mention CHINA or KOREAN restaurant that insult their cultures.

    Thanks for understanding.

    1. French restaurants, German restaurants, Chinese, Basque, Japanese, American restaurants….it is a discription, not a social injustice or insult, Angela. It never ceases to amaze me how some attempt to railroad a blogger into taking their views. The subject is GMOoison, not PC nonsense. you might think about starting your OWN blog. Just saying.
      I admire your dedication, efforts and hard work, Vani.
      Grandma GG

    2. Angela, you completely miscontrued and twisted the purpose, aim, and references in this article. The article is not about the country of Mexico in the slightest, and I have no idea why you would ever interpret it as such. It’s about the availability IN AMERICA of the ingredients used in Mexican foods. Food Babe lives in America, and she is doing ANYTHING but insulting traditional Mexican cuisine, and instead is extolling it and saying how much she loves it! The problem is that here in America, it is very difficult to find the ingredients for Mexican cuisine without GMOs. I feel like you didn’t even read the article, but instead only the headline and entirely inappropriately took offense. Of course the problem with restaurants using GMO ingredients extends to foods of all nationalities, and she certainly never said otherwise. However, it happens that one ingredient that is especially hard to find in non-GMO versions – IN AMERICA – is corn, and it happens that corn is generally a bigger staple of Mexican cuisine than of other countries. (I’m sure that Native American cuisine, for example, uses lots of corn too, but unfortunately there are not many Native American restaurants around to be referring to.) I don’t know why you would accuse the writer of insulting any ethnicity when the ONLY issue being disparaged is the lack of GMO-free ingredients IN AMERICA used in Mexican cooking. Your accusations were so inappropriate, and as a fellow reader, I ask that you think before posting about whether such accusations are even remotely true – which here they are not – and if you didn’t even read the article, to do that first as well before making incredibly wrong assumptions. To everyone else, I’m sorry for such a long post not on topic with the article, but it upsets me for someone to so twist the meaning of something so far away from the written issues and to make such accusations.

  19. Oh my gosh, this looks amazing!!! I’m a new follower of your blog (started with the Kraft issue) and I’m really enjoying it and learning so much. Thanks for all you do. Can’t wait to make this pizza, I’ve been craving Mexican food.

  20. I have been told and read over and over that white corn is never GMO. Do you know how true this is? Even on an internet search, it seems to confirm it. If I can’t get organic corn products, I always pick white corn (or no corn at all, as often as not), hoping this is true. It would be nice to know for certain!

  21. Don’t buy the hard taco shells! You can make your own with corn tortillas. Even better, just eat them in “Street Taco” Style. Just warmed on a pan and then add your fillings. Also make your own taco seasoning (have you read the ingredients on those envelopes in the store :/ ). Just add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion power, cumin, cilantro, lime juice and any chiles you like. Cheaper and better for you!

  22. My husband moved me to his hometown, a smaller former farm city that has a huge number of chain restaurants and a horrible obesity problem. There is one small organic food store (no Trader Joes or Whole Foods here), and thank goodness for it! I found almost every single ingredient for these pizzas at the shop, with the exception of the avocados and jalapenos (bought at our local grocery store Schnucks, they were not organic…pick your battles, right?). My carnivore hubby loved them, and was even stealing bits of the raw goat milk organic chedder while I was cooking, it is his new favorite cheese. It’s easy to follow a non-GMO, organic lifestyle in a big city, but in a small town where the choices are so limited, it can be tough. We’re surrounded by farms that mostly all use pesticides. We try to support the farms that don’t, that raise free-range, grass fed, abx free farm animals, but it’s hard to know which is which. Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. I’m sure it is much harder in certain cities/towns but it sounds like you are doing great! Keep it up…

  23. WHERE do you get raw cheeses or organic cheeses? The only one I know is Organic Pastures, and they only have one cheese. I miss Parmesan, Mozarella, Gouda…

  24. Hi Susan – many grocery stores now carry some organic cheese but to find raw cheese, you’ll probably need to go to a natural grocery store.

  25. Thanks for reporting on the problem (GMO, pesticides) AND offering a solution (tasty, clean recipe). God bless!

  26. I use Roundup for killing weeds in the driveway lines. I had no idea it was a pesticide .
    Thanks for the recipe, Deb

    1. Hi Deb – Roundup is a weed killer. Some GMO crops are made to be resistant to Roundup so they can spray the heck out of the crops and it will kill the weeds but not the crops. Isn’t that handy? And remember who makes Roundup… yes, Monsanto, the same company making most of the GMO seeds. Yum!

      1. Deb, Did you know that plain old white vinegar will kill those pesky weeds? Spray them once or twice and they will shrivel up.
        Grandma GG

  27. My husband & father-in-law loved this & it was so easy to find all the best options to make this possible!

    1. Oh you definitely can – I have them all the time. Just use good quality ingredients – non GMO tortillas, wild sustainable fish and whatever toppings (organic) you like… I use lettuce, guacamole, salsa, cilantro…yummy! And one of my favorite new toppings is thinly sliced red onions marinated for 30 minutes or so in salt and lime juice – takes out the raw onion bite. Sooooo good. I want some now…

  28. I made a version of this last night and it was delicious! Probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. I mixed together this recipe with your recipe for homemade pizza by using Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas for the crust, then added salsa, beans, broccoli, onions, garlic, spinach, jalapenos, and cheddar cheese. Topped with avocado after baking. So good!!! Thank you!!

  29. I enjoy your information on GMO’s , but it surprises me that you include dairy ( cheese) in this recipe. Many studies sugest that dairy proteins result in cancers. Name another animal that drinks the lactation of another animal as a food source their entire life? Not to mention the abuse that a dairy cow endures during its short life , they are forced into pregnancy artificially, then its calf is taken away , (males become veal, females get to become dairy cows)this cycle is repeated until the spent (3-5 years)
    animal is slaughtered and ground up for low grade hamburger.

    1. Peter, you can get raw milk cheese from pasture raised grass-fed cows that are NOT treated the way you describe. Better yet, get raw milk and make your own cheese and yogurt, it isn’t that difficult. We have found local farmers and have seen first-hand the loving way the cows are treated. They live to be well into their 20’s and are friendly and very sweet. They live a much happier life than factory farmed cows. And even a full grown wolf or bear will drink milk if it is available. Raw milk from grass-fed cows has many health benefits. Go to eatwild.com and read about it!

  30. We love making our own taco seasoning from all organic herbs and spices. We season the meat, then get the taco fixins (chopped onion, chopped tomato, shredded raw organic cheese, home made yogurt for the sour cream etc) then we take a head of Romain lettuce and use the leaves for the taco shells. No corn! And delicious!
    I quit eating out at conventional restaurants along with changing my diet three years ago. 90 pounds lighter and far healthier! Hooray!

  31. WOW!!! I just had a flashback. My mom used to make our family Mexican Pizzas in the 1960’s and 70’s. She was a follower of nutritionist Adelle Davis. When I was growing up, BHA, BHT, Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite were considered poison and my mom would NOT buy anything with it. She did not buy hot dogs or bologne. She also would not buy packaged, processed foods or sugar added cereals. If I complained I was hungry, she would say “eat an orange or an apple”. If I told her I didn’t want that, she would say “then you are hungry”. We drank unpastuerized milk from Alta Dena Dairy and she made her own yogurt. She made everything “from scratch”. And to think I felt deprived!

  32. Love your site, but one of the reasons I hate shopping on Amazon sometimes (though I still do it a lot, I just wish it were easier sometimes) was highlighted in this article. The price on the sprouted corn masa? $7.54. Shipping? $13.80. And no way to reduce it by buying more. UGH. No way is that a good buy. I didn’t go look, but anytime the shipping is almost double the cost of the item, it might be time to look elsewhere.

  33. So I do not eat Mexican food- basically because of what is in it and how bad that is for me. I just made this pizza and THANK YOU!! Delicious, healthy, perfect!! The best!! Thank you for everything that you do to make this world a healthier place….,.;)

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